PREPARING TO TEACH
The three-and-one-half-year ministry of the adult
Jesus includes His repeated manifestations that the
kingdom of God is at hand. A subordinate theme is the
attitude of those from Nazareth who found it especially
difficult to believe His divine connection, given they
saw Him raised from infanthood. Interwoven through
all this is the prophetic timetable that was fulfilled at
every turn. This week’s lesson illustrates all three ele-
ments as we see Jesus come home to Nazareth.
The words He speaks in the synagogue excite His
listeners as if they are hearing the text for the first time.
In a way, they are, for He speaks them with grace,
power, and authority, giving a true interpretation at
odds with their own. Their excitement turns quickly to
anger as they realize the import of His words. In a flash
they turn on Him with murderous intent.
The lesson ends with a miraculous rescue, directed
by His Father. Jesus allows Himself to be forced to a
hilltop by the frenzied mob, but then is miraculously
cloaked by angels as He literally disappears and walks
unseen through the crowd. Imagine their perplexity!
Imagine His sorrow at their actions and His resolve to
bring the great controversy to a close.
The students will:
• Recognize that Jesus is the fulfillment of the
messianic prophecies and understand what
Messiah came to do. (Know)
• Realize that Jesus was unaccepted by those
who knew Him longest. (Feel)
• Resolve to trust that accepting Jesus as God is
their pathway to eternity. (Respond)
God the Son, Fundamental Belief 4: “God the eter-
nal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through
Him all things were created, the character of God is
revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished,
and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became
also truly human, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived
of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived
and experienced temptation as a human being, but
perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of
God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and
was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered
and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in
our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended
to heaven to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our
behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliver-
ance of His people and the restoration of all things.
(Isa. 53:4-6; Dan. 9:25-27; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-3, 14;
5:22; 10:30; 14:1-3, 9, 13; Rom. 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4;
2 Cor. 3:18; 5:17-19; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-19; Heb.
2:9-18; 8:1, 2.)”
I. GETTING STARTED
Refer the students to the What Do You Think?
Scripture Story: Luke 4:16-30.
Commentary: The Desire of Ages, chapters 23, 24.
Key Text: Luke 4:18-21.
Read Mark 6: 17-28.
H ow did you do with defining success and listing people and qualities of success in
the What Do You Think? section? Jesus paid
the highest compliment to John the Baptist that
any person could hope to receive. Yet instead
of enjoying the privileges of being the King’s
herald, John was wasting away in a prison
cell! He never had a visit from Jesus. He had
no promise of help from his powerful cousin.
Read Mark 6:17-28 to learn more about how
John ended up in prison and to find out what
happened to him. Do you think John’s faith
weakened while he was in prison? How do
you think John felt when he received word of
John had the solo role of heralding Jesus’
first coming. We are privileged, along with our
church family, to herald His second coming.
“The second coming of Christ is the blessed
hope of the church, the grand climax of the
gospel” (Fundamental Belief 25, The Second
Coming of Christ).
Read John 1:6, 7.
W ould you say John the Baptist was successful in carrying out the purpose
for which God had created him? Why or why
not? Does John’s ending seem like that of a
successful person? Why? Why not?
Read again this week’s Key Text in Matthew 11:11. Did you notice how Jesus pays
John the highest honor when He says: “Among
those born of women there has not risen any-
one greater than John the Baptist.” But, imme-
diately following that, He said, “Yet whoever is
least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than
he.” What do you think Jesus meant by this?
Read John 20:21.
According to John 20:21, why did Jesus come to on earth? What does He then
say to us? What very essential event must take
place before we can be effective ambassadors
for Jesus as John the Baptist was? See verse
Read Philippians 2:3-8.
John the Baptist had every opportunity to draw attention to himself . . . his work . . .
his calling. But he didn’t do that. What lesson
is there in his words and actions for us? Check
out these verses written by Paul for a further
emphasis about God’s ideal for success: Phi-
Read Proverbs 3: 5, 6.
E ven within the Christian community today, there is a growing teaching of the prosper-
ity gospel . . . that if we believe and claim the
promises of God, He emerges like some genie
from a bottle to fulfill our desire for success,
wealth, comfort. But what do we learn from
John and from the Messiah whom he heralded?
What, if anything, stands in the way of your
waiting upon God, listening and responding to
God’s will and plan for you, rather than expect-
ing Him to come and fulfill your own desires?
What guidance can you find in Proverbs 3:5, 6?
Read Revelation 11:15.
T ake some time to consider how amazing it is that while John has the distinction
of heralding in the advent of the promised
kingdom of heaven, we stand at the dusk of an
old, dying age when soon in every respect the
kingdom of heaven will be a reality and earth
as we know it will be gone. Jesus will soon
come and take us to be with Him. We have the
distinction of experiencing the other side of the
cross—the mercy, grace, and transformation
that come because of the sacrifice of Christ
and the building of His temple (church), which
cannot be destroyed. If John was a signpost of
what was to come, what does that make us?
What role do you (and I) have in this second
advent of the Messiah?
Read Revelation 11:15 in a loud and dramatic
voice. Can you picture yourself on that great
day? Make a list and pray for all those you
know who need to experience the mercy,
grace, and transformation that comes from
giving their lives to Jesus. Ask God to help you
to daily show His character in your life.
Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International
Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011, by Biblica, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version.
Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used
by permission. All rights reserved.
this week’s reading*
The Desire of Ages (or Humble
Hero), chapter 22.
A special adaptation of The Desire of Ages, entitled Humble Hero,
has been created just for you by the White Estate and the Pacific
Press Publishing Association. Get more info about it at: www.
cornerstoneconnections.net. By following this plan you will read
at least one book of the Conflict of the Ages Series each year.
CCLTG text B2 2017.indd 49 10/13/16 3:11 PM